Shaler man charged with sexually abusing child

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A Shaler man, who police say sexually abused a child, was arrested today on related charges and released from jail on $25,000 bail, court records show.

Shawn Flaherty, 21, abused the boy twice in 2013, once in October during a birthday party and again in December, Shaler police Det. Michael Heinl wrote in a criminal complaint.

During both assaults, the child was in the basement of a Shaler home playing Xbox when Mr. Flaherty undressed and forced the child to perform sexual acts on him, Det. Heinl wrote.

Mr. Flaherty threatened to hurt the child "if he told anyone about this," Det. Heinl wrote. After the second assault, though, the child told his parents "he never wanted to go back to that house," the complaint states.

“This child did a brave thing by reporting it, coming forward,” Det. Heinl told KDKA-TV. “I believe he was tired of being a victim and hurt and threatened, and he wanted it to stop.”

Charges against Mr. Flaherty include rape, indecent assault, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, unlawful contact with a minor and terroristic threats, court records show.

Mr. Flaherty was released at 4:57 p.m. from the Allegheny County Jail, and his preliminary hearing is scheduled for May 29.


Lexi Belculfine: lbelculfine@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1878. Twitter: @LexiBelc.


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